Hello and welcome to another edition of Our Person of the Week. Capt. Augustine Uwah is a veteran pilot with many years experience.
Capt. Uwah was the First Nigerian to be jet rated in General Aviation (working at
Aero Contractors). Also, he was featured in Topic Magazine (1980) edition – Aerial shots over Lagos Island and also, he was featured on 25th anniversary of Nigeria Independence, on a publication by USIS marking Nigerian/American Industrial
relationship within those years.
Today, he shared with us things we didn’t know about the aviation sector and also dished advice for upcoming pilots.
Good morning Capt. Uwah, please tell us about you.
I am Capt. Augustine Uwah (alias Gustino or SkyKing Austin), the only male child born to a teaching parent in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. My elementary school was done along the teaching circuits with my parents while my secondary school was at Methodist Boys High School, Oron in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. This school set the path to my career due to their strict academic curriculum. Their middle grade final maths exam would determine if you are offering Science or Arts course. To me, Science course was what I needed.
Did you always wanted to be a pilot and what was your career path to becoming a pilot?
Ever since, it’s been a journey to reach for stars. My love for geography, a passion for space and beyond, most likely played a major part in my urge to fly.
Where was your first flight (to and from)?
My first flight as a pilot, was in 1969 during the Nigeria civil war, from Calabar to Lagos and back. That sold me, but my first sight and close contact with a flying machine, was ten years before in 1959 during Nigeria pre-independence elections.
Which is ‘easier’ flying a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft?
Flying as a whole is challenging because you have to interact with your equipment (the machine). The fixed wing has the advantage of the wings, which can glide, but the chopper’s stability is as a result of complex coordinating movements of the pilot, working the collective pitch, rotor pedals and the yoke against the elements. I’d say the fixed wing is easier, while the helicopter is more demanding.
Most pilots have their most memorable flight. What’s yours?
My most memorable flight was that which we lost one engine across the Sahara, ferrying a jet across the continent to England for maintenance . We limped with one engine across the massive desert, throwing in everything we learned in school and our combined experiences onto the table. That was very memorable, and we live to savor the bragging rights.
Will you advice people to always put into consideration the airline first or focus more on the aircraft?
What is your first line of action when you come across sudden gusts of wind, hailstorms, fog or heavy rain, or turbulence?
Does flying get better with experience?
Flying experience, hours logged and retraining programs are great asset to any good pilot.
Most pilots dislike Airbus 380. Why is that? Does it have anything to do with safety?
For the young and aspiring pilots, youth is an advantage and engineering background is a plus. Training in an established institution is very important. Schools like Nigeria College of Aero Tech. Zaria, Oxford Air Trg. School, Oxford, UK, Embry Riddle, Florida, US., Flight Safety, US., just to mention a few. An Aviation degree, added to the license puts up front at interviews.
Any advice for us at www.chiomaokoyeakpawusi.com?
To the blogger: Someday, I’ll teach you how to. Lots of inspirational moments high up there.